How the UK Saves

We worked with Vanguard to produce an annual publication looking at the pension saving experiences of people who’ve been enrolled into Nest.


Highlights from How the UK Saves 2019

  • Momentum remains strong for auto enrolment, with the past fiscal year seeing Nest’s membership increase to nearly 8 million members across 826,000 employers.
  • While the majority of members have been automatically enrolled by their employer, over 250,000 people have actively signed up to Nest, many of which are on very low incomes. The data shows that these people are more likely to be women, in particular those earning less than £10,000 per year and those under the age of 25.
  • The gender pensions gap remains, with analysis revealing that at Nest median pension pot balances for women are 79% of the median balance for men. Research from Nest Insight and Vanguard, found this disparity to be driven by structural factors in the UK labour market.
  • Member engagement is more and more facilitated by technology, with webchat tools becoming increasingly popular, and mobile and tablet devices becoming the dominant channel for members’ digital interaction with Nest.

About the project

Vanguard’s Center for Investor Research has already had great success with their annual publication How America Saves, and How Australia Saves. These reports use administrative data from large defined contribution arrangements to explore the experience of people saving in pension systems around the world. We were delighted to collaborate with Vanguard on the How the UK Saves series, specifically examining the population of around 9 million people who’ve been enrolled into Nest.

Project partners

Vanguard was founded with the purpose of taking a stand for all investors. In pursuit of this principle, Vanguard is proud to have been the first strategic partner of Nest Insight, in its effort to help the UK public achieve the best chance of investment success, and a comfortable retirement.

With the route to retirement becoming increasingly complicated, Vanguard believes that improving the understanding and accessibility of the UK pension system will be vital in generating practical solutions to the challenges ahead.

Since establishing the first indexed mutual fund in 1976, Vanguard has grown into one the world’s largest and most respected investment management companies. Globally, Vanguard manages $5.6 trillion on behalf of investors worldwide. (Source: Vanguard, as at June 31st 2019). For more information visit:

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